On Saturday, February 27, Saesha Grover '22 organized a Middle School Debate Tournament for our Middle School Debate Team!
The tournament was hosted over Zoom, with eight Middle School debate students competing and six Senior School debate students judging the event. Saesha came up with the idea by herself, inspired by her own experiences doing debate competitively since the Seventh Grade. Debate is one of Saesha's passions, she has placed in multiple speaking competitions in Western Australia (WA) while she lived there.
In Australia, Middle School students across all schools are given the option to compete in tournaments weekly. She used this experience and turned it into an opportunity to plan and conduct the debate tournament for Middle School students at Grammar.
"I noticed such an opportunity, especially amidst the pandemic, was not readily available to the middle schoolers here at Grammar, and they had been working hard during their debate club meetings," said Saesha. "So I decided to plan and conduct a tournament over Zoom for them. Allowing them to show off their skills learnt over their Wednesday after-school Debate Club meetings, ran by Grammar Debate Coach Josh Judah."
The tournament was a success, bringing together the Senior and Middle School students for a day of debate. Throughout the tournament, the senior students would give one-on-one feedback to the Middle School students after each round. Giving the Middle School students an opportunity to ask questions about improving their debate skills.
The Middle School students were happy with the tournament and excited that they got to be apart of it. "I remember asking a few middle schoolers if they would do such a tournament again, and they very excitedly nodded their heads, so hopefully such a tournament will happen again!" Said Saesha. She also hopes to expand the tournament to something bigger, "we might even look to planning a tournament involving multiple schools so that new bridges can be built!"
She noted the sportsmanship and positive attitudes of the Middle School students, saying, "the sportsmanship demonstrated by the Middle School students was absolutely extraordinary! They were smiling all day and were so excited for each other throughout the entire tournament!"
Grammar Debate Coach, Josh Judah, was also impressed with the event, Saesha, the Middle School students, and Senior School students saying, "This event was 100% Saesha's idea, and she did a wonderful job pulling it together. I was very pleased with how well the middle schoolers debated. In addition, our Senior School judges provided the debaters with excellent feedback after each round of debate."
At Grammar, we are always pleased to see students coming up with innovative ways to help each other thrive with their learning while having fun at the same time.
Results from the tournament:
Champion Team: Maria Giannou '24 and Xander Christian '26
Top Individual: Zixuan Alex Yang '26